NIGERIA – Nigeria is set to commence the export of 1 million tonnes of soya beans and 200,000 metric tonnes of red meat to Saudi Arabia, marking a substantial trade agreement with the Asian nation.

Abubakar Kyari, Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, announced this development to State House Correspondents following the June session of the National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

Minister Kyari explained that Saudi Arabia had formally requested these quantities following discussions initiated by President Tinubu during his attendance at the Saudi-African Summit in November 2023.

“I briefed the Council on the efforts of the President in trying to be the marketer-in-chief of Nigeria when he attended the Saudi-Africa Summit in November 2023, where I, on the sidelines, met with my counterpart, the Minister of Agriculture of Saudi Arabia, and discussed the areas of partnership in the agricultural space,” stated Minister Kyari.

He added that the Saudi Minister later paid a return two-day visit to Nigeria where the officials exposed him to all the agri-business entrepreneurs, and they had far-reaching discussions.

 “Shortly after he left, Saudi Arabia sent us an expression of interest that they want 200,000 metric tonnes of red meat every year and 1 million tonnes of soya beans. We had already last week had a meeting with our entrepreneurs, and we have come out with a roadmap where we can supply and satisfy that demand,” he noted.

In addition to the export deal, Minister Kyari highlighted domestic agricultural initiatives, including the distribution of 1.5 million bags of assorted fertilizers to farmers across Nigeria.

These fertilizers are provided free of charge under the Greener Hope programme, aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity with incentives totalling one billion dollars.

Furthermore, he detailed mechanisation efforts under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, mentioning the Greener Hope initiative, a decade-long agricultural reform project led by Origin Group.

This initiative aims to establish 1,000 agro-service centres nationwide, equipped with tractors. The programme intends to engage 600,000 youths in operational roles across these centres.

Minister Kyari concluded by emphasising the significant strides Nigeria is making in agricultural production and export, affirming the country’s commitment to fulfilling international trade obligations while enhancing domestic agricultural capabilities.

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